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5x05: "Life of the Party"
Review by Mikelangelo Marinaro (MikeJer)
Posted on June 26, 2012
Writer: Ben Edlund | Director: Bill Norton | Air Date: 10/29/2003

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Spoiler Warning!
This is a retrospective review and may contain spoilers from anywhere in the series. Read at your own peril.
Review

Well… one thing I can easily say about "Life of the Party" is that it's most definitely not the life of Season 5. In what's probably the weakest episode of the fifth season, and one of the weakest in all of Angel, the writers come to the realization that Lorne needs some attention, which is a great thing in of itself. The question, then, is why they couldn't think up anything more creative than this. Why does Lorne always seem to get the writers' room backwash plots?

Lorne, from the start, hasn't been a character to ever get much attention. He's generally been used as a tertiary character that other characters bounce off of, even in the character's heyday (Season 2). Don't get me wrong, I've generally enjoyed his presence and quips, but he's fundamentally a shallow character with a lot of untapped potential. Even worse: Take this lack of depth and then add Angel's mind wipe in "Home" [4x22] to it. At this point in time I have absolutely no clue what Lorne's about anymore. Is he still the non-judgey guy who gives advice to all who need it, good or bad? Or has he been turned into something else altogether? I still don't understand why he agreed to the Wolfram & Hart (W&H) position. He knows that working for the company will likely do more harm than good, and he knows how shady show business can be from his time in Las Vegas ("The House Always Wins" [4x03]). I also think he's read enough lawyers from the firm to know what they're all about.

Yet here we are. Worse is that Lorne's all the sudden showing some kind of trauma underneath his seemingly impenetrable veneer. Are there any hints of this prior to this episode? There weren't any that I could find. I guess I just don't buy all of this. I don't buy Lorne working for W&H; I don't buy his sudden need to remove his sleep; I don't buy that he's even a relevant piece of the show anymore. What all of this adds up to is that I can't buy into the very core of what this episode is about. Lorne does his best to make the case that he's relevant to Angel and, by extension, the show itself, but I'm sadly just not feeling it.

All of this brings me to the opening scene. We've got Lorne in his usual high-octane upbeat mood coordinating all kinds of happenin's with various celebrities. All seems fine until he gets into his room, the music abruptly stops, and he is led into to a dire encounter with his mirror. Although I appreciate the juxtaposition between the exterior world and interior world within Lorne's mind, I can't say I'm particularly invested in the drama. Why is this? Well, for me it goes back to the lack of build-up and long-term investment in the character. This is really on the backs of the whole writing team for not giving Lorne much of a forward-looking story of his own, which I would have very much welcomed.

"Life of the Party" does sport one -- if only one -- scene that is able to make me care a bit. That's the one in the Limo where Angel shows some actual empathy in realizing that Lorne actually cares, personally, about the Wolfram & Hart Halloween bash at the office. This spurs some genuine sentiment out of Lorne in which he reveals that doing well at being head of Angel's PR department is about the only thing he's good for anymore (and here I thought Lorne was 'Entertainment Director'). This is a good scene, no doubt, but it still lacks much context to fully resonate with me.

In a way this plot – where Lorne removes his sleep and is imparting his will on those around him -- reminds me a little of Buffy Season 4's "Something Blue," in which a heartbroken Willow casts a spell to have her will be done that totally backfires: only things she says about others actually come true. The key differences between these episodes are that, well, the former is actually quite funny, but more importantly it has long-lasting character relevance for Willow. Can the same be said about Lorne here? The answer is 'no,' but more on the 'why' in a moment.

It's at around the halfway point of the episode – when the party itself starts -- where "Life of the Party" sheds all pretense of relevance and makes that impressive transition from kind of pointless and lackluster to outright tedious and annoying. Let's see what we've got here: the silly side plot involving the Arch Duke thinking Angel killed his minion and… well, that's about all that actually happens. Due to Lorne accidentally putting everyone under his 'spell,' Angel and Eve have loads of pointless sex, Wesley and Fred act super annoying because they're faux-drunk , Spike is forced to have a great time (why couldn't Lorne spell me too?), and Gunn is left 'marking his territory.'

I suppose I'll admit to a bit of juvenile amusement over Gunn peeing everywhere and Spike being so damned excited about absolutely everything, but it all serves no purpose and doesn't enrich our understanding of the characters, or even how the characters view each other. To return to the Willow comparison, the nature of how each person was spelled in "Something Blue" was a reflection of how she viewed them. This is an important distinction, because it spoke to issues several characters were dealing with at the time while also commenting on Willow's recurring habit of trying to use magic to solve her problems. With Lorne in "Life of the Party" all we get are superficial comments about the staff not enjoying an obnoxious demon party and needing to loosen up a bit. Where one episode with this sort of plot wildly succeeds, the other utterly fails.

There's even a prolonged scene where Wesley tells Fred that he wishes they would have become better friends by now. Although this sentiment is always nice to hear, why does this scene get dragged on for so long? Nothing being said by either of them is new; this is just rehashing old frustrations, and not in a particularly subtle way. Earlier in the episode we actually see a little bit of conflict between Wesley's confidence in the quality of his team's magic and Fred's confidence in her team's science in regard to a device Angel tried to use that failed to activate. I have to say, that was an interesting conflict, and it's a real shame it is never built upon in future episodes. Instead we have to endure more sighs from Wesley as Knox continuously sends obnoxiously obvious flirts at Fred that she seems to be bafflingly buying.

If the Wesley and Fred scene finding Lorne's sleep lacked novelty and subtlety, "Life of the Party" definitely knows how to one-up it. Enter LorneHulk. Proceed with a handful of roars and punches. Exit LorneHulk in a wave of confetti. Wait, what show am I watching? Thankfully for me, it at least didn't go on for too long. But is any of this actually funny? I think it's obvious that I sure didn't think so.

In the end, what exactly is the moral of this story? That Lorne tries too hard to be the 'life' of the group? That there are dangers not only on the outside, but also from within their inner circle? Is any of this not extremely obvious already (not to mention redundant), and is it worthy of an entire episode devoted to it? I'll just say 'no' and 'no;' hence why I think that just about wraps up all that's left to talk about here.

Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)
+Spike getting tangled with Lorne in one of those 'dance walks,' and then shaking his head in frustration.
+Angel asking if everyone thinks he's throwing this party so he can kill them all. Now that's funny.
+Harmony being the very first person to get with the dancin'.
+Angel fake-brooding so he can watch hockey in his office alone.
+One of the Arch Duke's minions wearing a coat made of Pylean. That's suitably disturbing! ;)
+Wesley waiting for the elevator until Fred reminds him that he never actually pushed the button.
+Eve's pathetic attempt to hide her discontent at being mystically forced to have sex with Angel. Not particularly interesting, but at least she shows some reaction.
+Spike's real amusement at the fact that Gunn peed in Angel's chair.
  
-Eve always trying so hard to be vaguely sexual with Angel. This episode, of course, forces the characters to drop the pretense. Yay?
-Lorne saying that every good party he's ever been to was a "blood bath." I don't know, but that doesn't really feel like something Lorne would say.
-The Arch Duke's food minion often mumbling silly things. I do like the expression on his face during Angel's meeting at the mansion though.
-Lorne telling Fred and Wesley they're not having fun at the party because they're not drunk. Sigh.
Foreshadowing
  • The Arch Duke is a key member of the Circle of the Black Thorne, which will become more relevant at the very end of the season. The method Angel uses to kill him is even zoomed in on in the scene where Angel meets him. There's also mention of the Fell Brotherhood.
37/100FLow

DEPTH
Medium

EMOTION
Low

CHARACTER
Low

PLOT
Quotes
LORNE:Harmonica!
HARMONY:Lorney-tunes!

EVE:I mean, I understand. You're running the whole circus now, a lot of pressure, especially with your hands-on policy. No pun intended. I'm sure you could use a release.
ANGEL:No releasing, just bathing. That's what one does after bashing open a demonic piñata full of rancid Tabasco. What do you want, Eve?

HARMONY:Good luck. The morale around here stinks.
ANGEL:What?
HARMONY:Uh-huh. Everybody thinks you suck. Well, come on, boss. They're all out there, sweating through their matsudas, worried if you're gonna axe them or, you know, axe them.

SEBASSIS:Though I do prefer the tales of your counterpart Angelus. Ah, you had flair back then, child.
ANGEL:Well, I guess we all mellow in our old age.
SEBASSIS:Your contempt is fragrant.

LORNE:I'll let you in on a little secret. I had my sleep removed. Little procedure they have here at the company. Yeah, well, you know, I haven't slept a wink in, oh, about a month.
GUNN:You had Wolfram & Hart remove your sleep? Lorne... that's great!

WESLEY:Because you can't hold your— what are you drinking?
FRED:Nothing.
WESLEY:You can't hold that.
FRED:Oh, yeah? Lightweight. How much have you had?
WESLEY:Including this, I've had... about one-third of a half of this beer.

WESLEY:Everything he's told us to do, we're doing. Spike's thinking positive, Gunn is peeing all over the office.
FRED:And we're a little bit drunk.
WESLEY:Yes. But not because we drank, because Lorne told us to be drunk.
ANGEL:Lorne told you to pee all over the office?
GUNN:Lord, I hope so.

SPIKE:What a fantastic entrance!

SPIKE:That's one bitchin' big suit!

GUNN:Don't sit in it. I already called janitorial.
ANGEL:Why can't I—
SPIKE:You pissed in the big man's chair? That's fantastic!
GUNN:Spike, can you please turn off that warm fuzzy?
SPIKE:What, the Lorne thing? Wore off. I just think that's bloody fabulous!


Comments (26)
All Comments | Link1 | MikeJer | CREATOR/WRITERJun 26, 2012 @ 11:01pm
Review trivia: I originally gave this episode a score of 38, but decided to change it to 37 in honor of my utter disappointment with Diablo 3 (a PC game). The number 37 is in reference to a launch day error where no one could play the game for hours due to busy servers and an online only requirement to play the game, even by yourself.
All Comments | Link2 | Brachen ManJun 27, 2012 @ 1:20am
I vehemently disagree with that score. Feel free to tell me I have a horrible taste in episodes, but I thought this was one of Angel's best comedies. I thought Lorne's inner turmoil was completely believable and very sad. It spoke to the fact that the Fang Gang has become more distant than ever because of the memory spell, and Lorne is really the only one left that still cares enough to want to restore the old dynamic. He made the (admittedly foolish) decision to remove his sleep because he just wanted things to have a happy ending. As Lorne himself sleepily admitted at the end of the episode, it's hard being the one who just wants to keep things together.

As for the comedy, I couldn't stop laughing the first time I saw drunk Fred and Wesley. Enthusiastic Spike also never fails to bring a smile. If there was one flaw to the episode, it was Angel and Eve's sexcapades. That was tiresome and stupid.

In short, while "Life of the Party" wasn't the best episode of the season, it was far from F-worthy. I hope someone agrees with me.
All Comments | Link3 | buffyholicJun 27, 2012 @ 2:45am
Really good review, Mike. I agree with everything you say and this is an episode that I really dislike watching because I feel it´s trying too hard to be funny and has no lasting relevance.
One of the weakest of the entire Angel series.
All Comments | Link4 | VeloxMortisJun 27, 2012 @ 8:56am
Great Review! (I actually thought that D3 was a worthy successor to D2 and D1) I love (in a sarcastic way) it when shows try way too hard to be funny then come across as painfully unfunny. Why all of the Lorne attention now? By the way the Lorne centric episodes "The House Always Wins" and this one are some of the only F's in all of the reviews.
All Comments | Link5 | fray-adjacentJun 27, 2012 @ 9:04am
Hm. I find "the stress of holding the group together" concept pretty compelling, and it definitely fits Lorne's character. And I too found his inner turmoil fairly convincing and sad. Not Hulk!Lorne, but the earlier stuff.

But that's not why he had his sleep removed, right? It was just so he could do his job. This episode is pretty incoherent in its explanation of why Lorne is acting the way he is. It seems like the writers are conflating the stress of trying to stay positive and keep the group together -- which makes a lot of sense for Lorne -- with the stress of his job. But that requires making us believe that Lorne is really into the work he's doing at W&H, and of course that's pretty tough to swallow, as has been the case all season.

As far as the "spells" he accidentally puts on the other characters: I think the ones on Wesley, Fred, and Spike are reflections of how he sees them, or rather how he would like them to be. For one, considering how much Lorne himself drinks alcohol, and having run a bar, it makes sense that he thinks Wesley and Fred should just get drunk & have fun. Like Brachen says, Lorne wants his friends to loosen up, get back to the good ole days. If it takes alcohol to do it, Lorne has no problem with that.

The Spike "spell" is similar, though in that case it's not that Lorne wants Spike "back how he used to be", since Lorne just met him. I think Lorne just wants someone else to try and be cheerful and positive too.

Obviously this doesn't apply to Gunn peeing or to Angel and Eve having sex.

I must be more juvenile than most of you, because while I don't find "Life of the Party" to be a barrel of laughs, I do find it somewhat funny. And I just generally have a lot of love for Lorne, so it's not hard for the writers to get me to care.

Perhaps that's what they've been leaning on this whole time: Lorne is sweet and fun to watch, unlike most of the other characters, so they use that as a crutch to get us to care about him instead of actually developing the character. Then again, sometimes his lack of development seems to say something about the AI group dynamic: everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives and turmoil, and Lorne is just there cracking jokes and helping out in non-fighty ways, and it's easy for the other characters to take him for granted or see him as this slightly shallow, happy-go-lucky guy. That's why I really like moments where we get glimpses of depth from him, though the writers often accomplish this better in episodes that aren't centered on Lorne, like "Orpheus" or even "Spin the Bottle".

OK, getting rambly, gonna stop. Great review, Mike!
All Comments | Link6 | AlexJun 27, 2012 @ 9:41am
I'd been sitting here wondering how to respond to this review, and then I read fray's comment and she's pretty much summed up everything I was going to say, and far better than I would have done too. Thanks, fray!

I'm pretty conflicted about this episode because I find myself agreeing with pretty much everything you say, Mike, but then I read Brachen's comment and I somehow agree with most of that too. And like fray, I do find a lot of the episode pretty funny. I find drunk Fred and Wesley funny, rather than annoying. And while it may be frustrating to have Lorne say they need to get drunk, it does seem like something he would say. His own idea of fun mostly seems to revolve around drinking cocktails, after all. The problem with the comedy stuff, though, is that it just seems completely random - actually, that goes for pretty much the whole of the main plot. Lorne's not sleeping, and that leads to everyone doing a bunch of stupid stuff... it just doesn't make much sense and it feels like the writers spent about 2 minutes coming up with it.

My biggest problem with this episode is that, for a Lorne-centric episode, Lorne gets surprisingly little screen time! We spend loads of time focussing on the other characters and laughing at the stupid stuff they do, and we only really get a few glimpses into Lorne's own character and the problems he's facing. I can't help comparing it to Harm's Way, where Harmony's on screen for almost the entire episode. This is another episode supposedly centred around a supporting character (I don't see Lorne as one of the main characters any more at this point), and I find myself wondering why they didn't feel Lorne deserved the same attention as Harmony gets in her episode.

We're often complaining about how everything seems to have been cut out of Season 5 due to time pressures, and that everyone who isn't Angel or Spike seems to be kind of pushed to the side a bit. But here's an entire episode they were apparently willing to devote to Lorne, and they really don't seem to have made much of an effort with it.

And yeah, the Lorne-Hulk is just awful, awful, awful.
All Comments | Link7 | MikeJer | CREATOR/WRITERJun 27, 2012 @ 11:15am
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I knew I'd probably hear an interesting range of opinions on this one.

Brachen: I'm not going to tell you that you have horrible taste in episodes, only that we find different things funny. I agree that "Life of the Party" offers some rudimentary commentary on Lorne's struggles to keep the group together and spirited, but it's really not given the complex and subtle examination I think Lorne deserves. The episode's points are redundant and shallow.

Beyond that, I'll just say that I've never found drunk (or faux-drunk in this case) people funny. Mostly I find it quite annoying and a little sad, at least when it's the characters' own fault for getting so intoxicated. In this case the sadness isn't there, but it's still annoying to see. Wesley's interesting to watch when he's, well, Wesley. I guess I just don't take joy in seeing people I like watching normally acting like stumbling, mumbling, sometimes super-bitter, and sloppy zombies. This opinion is, of course, a reflection of how I feel about drunk people in real life too. Only then you could also add a little fear in what the person's capable of doing in that state.

Velox: I could probably write a 30 page paper on why Diablo 3 is an awful successor to Diablo 2. From atmosphere to story to art to music to replayability to itemization to gameplay mechanics, and more, I feel it's a step backwards in almost every single category. There are some superficial improvements there, but at best it's a case of one step forward, two steps back. Have you reached the endgame yet: Inferno Diablo followed by the realization that there's nothing else to do and that even the items lack flavor and depth rendering farming pointless? I'd love to have a debate with you about this over on the forums if you so desire. But be warned: I come prepared. :D

Fray: I, too, find it believable that Lorne would spell Wesley, Fred, and Spike the way he did. My problem is that there isn't anything more to it. The episode's not only shallow, but the points it makes aren't revelatory -- they're redundant. There's no deeper reflection and no real relevance to what comes in future episodes. In fact, "Not Fade Away" aside, what else does Lorne do this season?
All Comments | Link8 | AlexJun 27, 2012 @ 12:39pm
See, what I liked about drunk Fred and Wesley was that they weren't just acting like stumbling, mumbling zombies. They were still very much themselves, retaining enough of their smartness to be able to solve the crisis at hand, albeit a little slowly and with some slurring of their words. Drunk acting seems to be really tricky, and a lot of actors that I respect actually really suck at it. Here, they both do a decent job, but I think Alexis especially really nails it.

I LOVE his delivery of the 'about a third of a half of this beer' line. And I love that they have one of those big meaningful drunken conversations where they resolve to be best friends from now on - I can't be the only one who's had one of those before? Yeah, it's silly, but how often do we get to see these two being silly or even happy? I find it quite welcome, even if it is pretty inconsequential.
All Comments | Link9 | MikeJer | CREATOR/WRITERJun 27, 2012 @ 1:09pm
I agree that the line about the beer was quite funny, but only because it largely cut through the drunkenness and was still recognizably Wesley. Fred's behavior actually annoyed me more than Wesley during these scenes though, because I didn't feel much of normal Fred in them.

As for finding enjoyment in their drunken state, I just don't feel it. I think it's because that silliness and happiness aren't real -- it's coming from an intoxicated state and that, to me, instead illuminates the fact that they have too hard a time finding silliness or happiness in a sober state. I find that sad rather that fun. But maybe that's just me.
All Comments | Link10 | AlexJun 27, 2012 @ 4:08pm
No, I think you're right. It is funny (to me), but only if I don't think about it too much. You're right that there's something undeniably sad about this being one of the only times we get to see them having some fun, and that they have to be drunk (kinda) for it to happen.

I also agree that Fred's drunkenness isn't as convincing as Wesley's (actually that's not what you said, but I think we sort of feel the same way about it anyway). I don't think Amy Acker does a terrible job with it, but it does seem a lot more affected than Wesley's. Wesley reminds me of actual drunk men I've met, whereas Fred kind of reminds me of those annoying girls at teenage parties who just pretend they're drunk and act like they think drunk people act.

I feel a forum discussion about drunk acting coming on...
All Comments | Link11 | nathan.taurusJun 28, 2012 @ 11:18pm
Brachen Man: "You walk alone!" Sort of. I found the Wesley and Fred stuff to be quite funny and thought it was rather cute when Fred said the previously mentioned line. The elevator moment was hilarious as was Spike's joy over Gunn pissing in the big mans chair.

The downside was the Lorne stuff and Eve and why is everything in a tube. C'mon, sleep should be kept in something more along the lines of the Orb of Thesulah or something more mystical.

I rate it around a 70.
All Comments | Link12 | fray-adjacentJun 29, 2012 @ 5:42pm
OMG, just noticed the pun (I think it was intentional!) in your "pro" about the Pylean coat. LOL.
All Comments | Link13 | MikeJer | CREATOR/WRITERJun 29, 2012 @ 8:00pm
Intentional? Yep. :)
All Comments | Link14 | MrBJul 9, 2012 @ 10:34pm
Mike:
I am wondering why you chose to review this episode. It's a bad one, and simply bad to boot. It's not like it was almost a good one and they messed it up. It was bad from concept to writing to execution. With all the episodes available, it's just an interesting choice.

When you were doing the BtVS episodes in order, you had to deal with the bad ones as they come up; here you are doing one by choice. Just curious on why this one.
All Comments | Link15 | MikeJer | CREATOR/WRITERJul 10, 2012 @ 12:00am
Heh, good question MrB.

I wanted to do it for two reasons:

1. Sometimes it's fun to review something bad.
2. Believe it or not, I've come across a lot of people that actually like this episode (far more than dislike it), so I felt like I had a somewhat different perspective on it. The episodes I picked were primarily because I felt I had something to offer/say that might be different than most others on those episodes. Sometimes, like with "Release" and "Hell Bound" it's my Buffy background, but in this case I just felt like I had something to say about "Life of the Party" that I wasn't getting elsewhere. :)
All Comments | Link16 | AnneSep 22, 2012 @ 3:43pm
Good review! You helped me to put my finger on why, precisely, I was disappointed in this episode. Where was Lorne in it? It was supposed to be HIS episode, and we hardly got a peek behind the curtain! And what we *did* see...made no sense. Grr.

I LOVE Lorne. He's my favorite post-Doyle character, and I think that's probably because he's the empath -- the emotional heart, the conscience, the optimism, the concern for other people... I love all those qualities in him (as well as the singing and the Broadway sniping and the appreciation for creativity, plus his pro-active problem-solving for other people, even when he can't apply it to himself), and then in this season... nada. They just don't give him anything to DO, and I feel like he stops speaking up, whereas before, he wasn't afraid to stick his nose in everyone's business and offer advice that he thought was needed. Although Angel is technically older, I always felt like Lorne was the "grown-up" of the group, and yet in Season 5 he kind of regresses. He not only stops encouraging the others to be honest about their feelings and connect better with one another, he even stops doing it himself, and just kind of goes into a shell!

It's hard for me to believe he'd bottle everything up to this point, without even trying to let Angel know that he was having some difficulties with his work. There's such a list of blatant problems:

1) Why wouldn't Lorne tell anyone that he was having trouble?
2) Why would Lorne seriously trust W&H employees to remove his sleep without considering that they could tamper with his brain or something at the same time?
3) Why wouldn't Lorne tell his friends when he had that operation done, so they could be prepared in case there were unforeseen consequences?
4) Was Lorne's 'talking reflection' a figment of his imagination, or a manifestation of his subconscious, or...what? Be clear, people!
5) WHAT sexual tension??? There is none! Sometimes Eve tries to act seductive and fails miserably, and that's about it! She alternates between sexy, innocent, and cutesy so often that she makes no sense to me, and is not *remotely* trustworthy. I don't know why she wasn't fired right off the bat.
6) Why is Lorne's subconscious so Hulk-y? It just isn't consistent with his character. Troubled, sad, angry, stressed out, yes, but "LORNE SMASH!"? No. I can *not* believe that his subconscious self would want to destroy everyone and everything in sight, including himself.
7) Don't ever make minions act like mentally disabled people. It just leaves a bad taste in the viewers' mouths.
8) Don't make Wesley act like such a creeper!!! If you want people to buy him and Fred as an eventual romance, then he *really* needs to not be practically leering and drooling at her in a dark, isolated room while trying to drop unsubtle seductive hints that he's interested in her!
9) Why would Fred want to tell Wesley about Knox, when later episodes show us that she *is* and has been aware of how Wes feels for her?
10) Just... where is Lorne in all this? More Lorne screen time!
11) Okay, they *have* to realize a lot sooner that this is a) important to Lorne, and b) probably a bad idea to leave him *alone* at this mega-party of evil! Why would they all leave him at the mercy of their clients?
12) Not specific to this episode, but... wouldn't Lorne realize that something is seriously off with Angel? Even after the memory wipe, Lorne still ought to be able to see that Angel is keeping a sort of wall between himself and the others, and it seems out of character for Lorne to *not* try and ferret out why that is. It really does make me sad, and a bit...displeased with Whedon/the writing team, that every single friendship is so shattered and damaged and no one is taking steps to actively repair any of that damage. I appreciate Whedon's willingness to let people experience trauma and betrayal and conflict and change, but even real life isn't so unrelenting as to leave you all alienated and wounded and unable to reconnect with your loved ones *forever.* Usually, there's still someone making the effort, and in this case I am SURE it would be Lorne, even if no one else bothers.

BWAH. A Lorne is a terrible thing to waste!
All Comments | Link17 | TheShanshuProphecyOct 10, 2012 @ 10:19am
While I agree that this is not one of "Angel's" finest episodes, I don't hate it as much as as all that - Beer Bad or Inca Mummy Girl on BtVS or "She" if you must stick with Angel - were soooo much worse.

I love happy Spike, he makes the whole episode for me and I get a chuckle every time I watch it. I also don't have as much of a problem as you with the motivation/logic or representation of Lorne's behaviour and situation. Far more annoying are Fred/Wes drunk (and some really bad acting - I don't buy it for a minute).
Overall I would score much higher - probably in the C+ area - F is too harsh
All Comments | Link18 | SueBOct 10, 2012 @ 12:10pm
When they have these over the top farces, I generally just enjoy the ride. Some annoy, however, so I understand the review. For me it's "The Girl In Question". I just couldn't get into that one. This one is fine by me because my inner 12 year old got a kick out of Gunn marking his territory and I love Lorne so much. But it's no surprise that this one isn't everyone's cup of tea.
All Comments | Link19 | Josh ManJan 10, 2014 @ 6:21pm
I have to say, I'm feeling the reviews for this season have been 0 for 5 so far. This is by far (and it's not even close) the best season of Angel, and every episode is good. Great set up, great handling of the restrictions placed on the show by the network, and the funniest the show has ever been while also recapturing the overall theme of the show that got a little lost in the epic story lines of the last couple of seasons. No episode this season so far should be, in my opinion, rated less than an eighty, and yet none of them have even gotten that high a score!

I'm disappointed that I'm disagreeing with every single opinion so far this season! Hopefully that turns around.
All Comments | Link20 | MikeJer | CREATOR/WRITERJan 10, 2014 @ 6:57pm
Replying to Josh Man (#19)
Aside from the scores there's nothing in your comment that really tells me, specifically, what you disagree with in these reviews. I encourage you to engage the content of the reviews before thinking about the score.
All Comments | Link21 | JayNov 7, 2014 @ 8:32pm
I'd also add to the quotes:

(Fred shoots Lorne)

HARMONY
Oh, my God! They shot Lorney-tunes.

I LOLed really hard at her random statement.

But yeah, quite the horrible episode. Though, I didn't actually realize how cynical soulful Spike can be until rewatching this episode. Happy (and in this case, still non-evil) Spike was fun to watch.
All Comments | Link22 | unkinheadMay 1, 2015 @ 3:20am
Okay I'm glad I'm not completely alone in my love for the humor of this episode.

Seriously, hilarious stuff. Maybe I have a bad taste in humor, idk, all I know is this had me laughing my ass off pretty much throughout. I actually loved the faux drunkeness. The beer line is great, and I love "Presumaly". Gunn marking his territory and Spike being positive is just great fun.

I can't really relate to your feelings of it being sad that Lorne suggested drinking. I don't think it suggests you "must" drink to have fun...Come on, alcohol scientifically "makes you temporarily happy", so to speak (God I couldn't find a better way to phrase that), and I think disliking a joke merely on the principle of alcohol abuse or pressure is rather short-sighted. I don't think there's any malicious application there.

Of course it's possible I am misunderstanding your points because it is now 3:19 AM :)

Anyways, I thought this episode was hilarious, a throwaway sure...But it's just so damn funny I can't help but give it a positive score.
All Comments | Link23 | PathbeyondthedarkMay 1, 2015 @ 7:23pm
Usually, I agree with Mike or if I disagree it's minor. No disrespect, truly, but not here.

I thought it was funny. I thought it was relevant in that seeing Lorne does make judgments is very revealing of his character. He has no reason to let it be known other then by this drastic device used, for reasons I'll explain below.

Lets not forget he's a demon without a soul here. Demons - and by extension souless beings - act on pure desire. If he has no desire to let his frustrations be known, he won't do it nor hint at it. He doesn't take sides based on principle or having a conscience. His decision to stay by Angel's side is because he likes the guy and the group. He desired a high position and to meet his favorite stars, so he took the offer.

It's the same reason Spike stayed in Sunnydale and ultimately helps the Scoobies without a soul, he cares for Buffy - however twisted it may be - but he gets no flack for that nor do the writers.

This just exasperates why I'm not pleased with how Ats is treated. This review comes across (no offense) as one trying to relate it to the parent series. The parent series did not have a souless demon main character who legitimately liked humanity (Spike didn't, yet he still can be related to Lorne as I've noted if he must be. But he also has a human body and therefore the full range of human emotion, Lorne does not. Lorne seems more akin to a dog as far as emotional depth).

As such, his character is rather unique. His lack of development is because he's a demon, he is who he is and that can never change because he lacks a conscience. This actually makes sense within the lore, unlike so many other aspects.
All Comments | Link24 | PathbeyondthedarkMay 1, 2015 @ 8:13pm
Just fyi, in case I'm coming across rather argumentative, it's because I'm really not feeling well at the moment. But my key points still stand. I think Lorne is too heavily judged for his one dimensional characteristics when for all intents and purposes, being a souless being, he can't change much without a conscience. That's why the same standards can't be used when assessing his character.
All Comments | Link25 | KrssvenJul 9, 2015 @ 4:14am
I share your frustrations with the way AtS is/was always in the shadow of its parent show, even though many people preferred it. I've had many conversations with fellow Buffy/Angel viewers and one of the following is usually somewhere in there: 'Angel is much better than Buffy'; 'I prefer Angel'; 'Angel is darker and edgier'. Don't get me wrong, I still think most of my favourite Buffyverse stories are from BtVS, but for me Angel was more consistent, asked more questions of the viewer and was ultimately darker. Buffy was about kids growing up; Angel was about actually being an adult. Angel's motive was always to shake the sweetness that was still a big part of Buffy out of us and show us people in the 'real' world. Even in Buffy's later seasons half of them were still in college, a place that does not relate in any way to the real world or real employment. Buffy's characters grew, but even by the show's end they were still only 21 and had barely a grip on real life.

On Lorne though, is there any evidence either way to suggest he is soulless? He's a demon only in the sense that he comes from another dimension; in his actions he's probably the least dark of any of the non-human characters in the Buffyverse. For Lorne to be soulless, that means Clem and the myriad of other 'demons' have to be soulless too. Possibly even Doyle and Whistler too, even though they were aligned with the light (though Doyle was half human). In the Buffyverse, demons whose ancestry traces back to the Old Ones (as opposed to those that merely came here from other realms) are all partially human to a greater or lesser extent. We discovered in 'Graduation Day' that pure demons/Old Ones are all bigger. To become pure demon the Mayor sheds his human form and becomes the living embodiment of Olvikon, which is obviously far bigger than anything we've seen before, even Lurconis. The only non-vampire demons I recall being called out as definitely soulless were the Mok'Tagar from 'Living Conditions'. They were both demons and extra-dimensional, which probably confuses the issue even more.
All Comments | Link26 | Maria DNov 16, 2016 @ 8:15am
Replying to unkinhead (#22)
I'm glad someone has said this. I think the alcohol thing is being taken too seriously. Wesley and Fred aren't alcoholics, they don't use it as a crutch in life or have an unhealthy relationship with it. They're not hurting anyone. Why is it a big deal? It's perfectly normal for people to drink at parties to let loose and just enjoy themselves, Lorne telling them to drink never struck me as odd or a negative.

And the actors weren't bad in their portrayal of drunkeness, Wesley was especially convincing. I didn't find them annoying and I do tend to find drunkeness in TV and movies to feel really fake. I applaud the actors, they weren't over the top or falling over everywhere and the slurring was done well. I also found myself laughing at Gunn's peeing and I liked Spike's cheer, especially since it was given less focus than the others. I love Spike but I don't like when he gets too focus on Ats compared to Wesley, etc.

The episode has problems, sure (I really really don't like Eve or how the actress plays her, and there is absolutely no chemistry or "sexual tension" between her and Angel so that plot was annoying to me). It does make me sad that this is one of the only times since the early seasons everyone is in a good mood or acting like real friends and that it doesn't last. Spike is totally under a spell, but what drunk people say is often true so I think Wesley and Fred's friendliness is truly there all the time, just obviously hidden behind all the crap that has been built up.

I heard negative things about this episode before I watched it and I thought I was just unsophisticated or something for finding it pretty funny in places, but I think although it falters quite a bit and definitely isn't as deep or relevant as Something Blue, it by no means deserves an F.
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